Should You Burn Bark in a Wood Stove? [UPDATED]

Should You Burn Bark in a Wood Stove

In order to quickly light your next campfire or relight your wood stove in the morning, you may wonder, “Should you burn bark in your Woodstove?” Yes, certainly can. It is permissible to burn bark alongside fuel on a wood burner.

Using bark as an additional fuel source in a wood-burning stove is legal. Even while some species of bark produce more smoke and heat when burned than others, seasoned firewood and bark with a moisture level of less than 20% can be burned without issue.

But if you cannot decide on this matter yet, then keep reading the whole article because below. I’ve mentioned the pros and cons of burning bark in a wood stove and also its various uses of it so that you can easily use that bark without burning it.

Why Should You Burn Bark in Your Wood Stove?

Burning bark rather than removing it from firewood is preferred for three main reasons. There you have it:

  • It takes too much time and effort to debark the potential benefits of reducing pollution.
  • Bark can create more heat than wood in some species.
  • Bark burning contributes to a reduction in waste.

The most crucial reason to burn bark is that it will save you time and work, in my opinion. The process of debarking firewood can take a long time and is unlikely to be worth the effort for the majority of people.

It can also burn hotter than wood: using firewood as your primary heat source can significantly increase overall heat production. The critical thing to remember is that burning bark in your wood burner will not result in waste.

If you don’t have any other use for the bark, burning it is the most environmentally friendly option.

Why You Shouldn’t Burn Bark in Your Wood Stove?

Burning bark in a Wood Stove offers several advantages but also has some problems. Because the bark is untidy, unclean, and flaky, as a result, firewood can make a giant mess in your home or storage area because of the bark.

Then there’s the bark and the area between wood & bark, which provides a home for a disproportionate percentage of the pests and insects dwelling in your wood. Unfortunately, this bark also produces more smoke and ash than wood, which may irritate you, especially if you want a low-smoke outdoor campfire.

Wet bark is known for releasing creosote. The term creosote is typically used to describe all of the tar, creosote, and soot left in your chimney after burning wood.

They call the black stuff creosote, although it’s primarily tar (I won’t go into detail). All that black sludge clogs up your chimney and can cause significant damage and fires. There can be more than 100 pounds of creosote in a chimney after years of wood-burning fires.

Whether bark or wood produces more creosote is a matter of debate. However, we know that wet bark emits a large amount of creosote, whereas dry bark emits very little. Therefore, if you want to get rid of creosote buildup, let your bark for a few months to dry.

So, if you’re considering burning bark in your wood stove, keep the following factors in mind:

  • It can make a mess,
  • Carry bugs,
  • Emit creosote, and
  • Produce more smoke or ash.

If you’re comfortable with these little nuances, keep reading because I’m about to provide more information to help you choose the best bark to burn on a wood stove.

The Best Burning Barks for Your Wood Stove

River Red Gum

It can be abundant as a common tree in Australia, the Murray River, outback New South Wales, and as far north as western Queensland, where the Darling River system runs. Since colonial times, it has been a versatile and valuable timber.

It’s good firewood for combustion wood heaters, but its low flame output means it’s not as suitable for an open fire. That’s not to say it isn’t a helpful resource. The bark of this tree can also be used to light a fire.


 Many different types of Eucalyptus are connected with the word “Eucalyptus” rather than a single variation. The most common varieties are Red and Gray Ironbark.

Suppose you’re lucky enough to call New South Wales, Southern Queensland, Victoria, or Tasmania home. In that case, you’ll have plenty of access to this high-quality variety of firewood.

Birch Bark

Any fire may be started quickly and easily using a birch bark fire starter. White birch bark is the most frequent, but yellow birch bark can also be used to create a fire.

In many ways, it resembles the most underutilized natural fire starter in the wild. Yellow or black birch would be superior fuel options to white birch if you had to choose between the two most common birch species, but these are less prevalent.

Despite its age, the white birch tree continues to thrive. Waterproof roofing material and letters were also made by peeling away small sections of bark from the tree’s bark.

Using paper birch combined with other high-quality firewood options like beech, ash, elm, oak, or maple results in 20.2 million BTUs per cord.

By combining different types of wood, you can have a more prolonged burn time. In addition, wood can be swiftly ignited if it has been well seasoned because of the effectiveness of its outer peel.

For birch firewood to be seasoned appropriately, it must be cut into small pieces, stacked, and elevated for at least a year.

Splitting and raising the logs off the ground will prevent rot if the bark is too dense and water-resistant to allow the wood to dry.

Firewood Stacking Bark (Up VS Down)

Firewood can be stored with the bark facing up or the bark facing down in a firewood shed, and it doesn’t make a difference.

A firewood rack or similar structure can be used instead of a shed, but you should stack the wood, so the bark is facing up.

The fuel stack is naturally protected from rain and snow while the bark is facing up. However, water can collect between the outer bark and the interior wood if the wood is stacked with the bark facing down.

Only the top few layers of your firewood stack need your attention.

To keep rain and snow from falling on your firewood, you need to raise it higher than usual, so the wind can blow it around the entire stack.

How to Remove Bark From Firewood?

Firewood frequently sheds its bark on its own. However, if the wood isn’t already dead or seasoned, this won’t work. As a result, you will find it much easier to remove the bark from your seasoned firewood.

So, here are some techniques for removing bark from firewood for a wood burner.

  • Stacking the firewood twice is a drawback of first seasoning it. Stacking the bark will help it mellow. Next, the wood will be debarked, and restacking will be completed.
  • Wear gloves and get a hatchet or spud to get started.
  • Begin by gently removing the bark from the tree with your fingers.
  • If the bark is clinging to you and you’re having trouble pulling it out with your hands, it’s time to try a tool.
  • You can also use your bark spud as a crowbar. To put it another way, slide your instrument between the bark and the wood and press outwards to pull the bark off.
  • Bark can also be split with a hatchet; in the same way, a log is split for kindling.
  • Place a huge circular log on the ground as a chopping block. You may elevate each piece of wood you’re working on in this manner, making the chopping procedure easier on your back and preventing your hatchet from being pushed into the earth.

Various Use of Leftover Bark

When your firewood has been debarked, there is one lingering question: what should be done with all the bark left behind?

Using bark around the house can be done in the following ways:

  • Smaller pieces can be used as landscaping mulch around plants and flower beds.
  • Use the leftover bark to cover the ground between garden rows.
  • In the garden, place the bark between raised beds.
  • The larger pieces can also cover low spots and potholes in the driveway.
  • This fantastic material can be found or fashioned into furniture, vases, picture frames, signs, and other items.
  • The most straightforward technique to produce bark decorations is using bark bits in table service.

The bark is a ground cover, preventing grass and weeds from growing in places you don’t want them to. If you heat it with wood, you might get a lot of bark in as little as a year.

The extra bark makes an excellent layer for parking the tractor and covered trailer. When splitting and stacking wood, there’s also a perfect coating of bark underfoot.

People who cut and sell firewood for a living will remove the bark before selling it.


An excellent fire starter is made by combining a range of different kinds of kindling, including bark. You can expect a lot of heat from this fire, but because of how quickly it burns, you’ll want to keep plenty of logs on hand.

Now that I’ve shown you the benefits and drawbacks of burning bark in your wood stove, I hope you’re no longer confused about what to do with your leftover bark. You should be able to figure out what to do with it without too much difficulty.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does white birch bark produce more creosote than other forms of firewood?

If the wood is completely dry, it can be burned in your fireplace or stove.

However, until the bark is burned, the wood emits black sooty smoke due to the oils in the bark.

If the wood is adequately seasoned, this black smoke can leave a residue on the stove, especially on the glass, but it will not necessarily form combustible creosote.

2. Will a Damp White Birch Fire Starter Burn?

The bark of a white birch burns when wet, but when dry, it burns even better.

3. Does Bark Affect the Ability of Wood To Burn?

Bark-coated firewood may be more difficult to light.

Thick bark on some trees, such as Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch, helps them resist forest fires by keeping the tree cool.

Ponderosa Pine bark has been described as looking like a jigsaw puzzle piece of bark or scale. During a forest fire, these scales fall to the ground and pick up the blaze they were a part of with them.

4. Will Removing the Bark Kill the Tree?

Trees have three layers of bark: the cork, phloem, and cambium, which make up the bark’s outermost layer. The ring-barked tree’s ability to operate and stay healthy can be seriously harmed if these tissues are removed.

In a nutshell, ring barking kills trees. The ring-bark dies if the tree does not recover from the wound.

5. Does Tree Bark Regrow?

Tree bark resembles our own skin in appearance. Infected and diseased cells can enter the body through the inner layer of living tissue if it breaks off. It does not grow back.

If a tree is cut down, it will regenerate around the edges of the wound, but it will not grow back across a large area. This is done to protect the tree from any future damage or illness.

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